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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.


Delta Queen Visits Cairo in 1968

On the same day I shot the photo at Ft. Defiance in 1968, I noticed the steamboat Delta Queen headed upstream toward Cairo. Who could pass THAT up? I gave chase and caught up to it at the Cairo riverfront.

Delta Queen built in 1926

The hull, first two decks and steam engines were ordered from Scotland in 1924 and assembled in Stockton, Cal., two years later.

Starting running Midwestern Rivers in 1948

After a highway linking San Francisco and Sacramento killed off the steamboat excursion business in California, the Delta Queen was towed through the Panama Canal, refurbished in Pittsburgh and placed into regular passenger service, plying the waters of the Ohio, Mississippi and Cumberland Rivers in 1948.

Winner of the Golden Antlers

The Queen recreated historic steamboat races each year during the Kentucky Derby, when it raced with the Belle of Louisville on the Ohio River. The winner received a trophy of golden antlers, which you can see mounted on the pilot house.

Delta Queen became floating hotel in 2009

The Delta Queen ended all operations in 2008 and was turned into a floating boutique hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2009. Here’s a link to the Delta Queen Hotel website.

Photo Gallery of Delta Queen’s Cairo visit

Click on any picture to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

 

 

 

13 comments to Delta Queen Visits Cairo in 1968

  • Wow! I have only seen the Delta Queen or its sister ships two or three times in my life. There are magnificent to say to least.
    Now I know this river queen is in the city of Chattanooga I can stay on board and see what it would have been like to have toured the Mississippi and Ohio on these behemoths of the inland waters ways.
    The boat I saw as a kid and rode on in Cape was the Avalon I remember they had a kids cruise in the afternoon and an Adult cruise in the evenings. I rode with about 1000 others of my age up the river to Cape Rock and back or there about and back for about two hours I would guess, and had a great time. This boat stopped several times in Cape in my formative years and I got to ride on it and tour the river around Cape. Mark Twain had it right the Mississippi River is a wonderful place!
    Now to Look up the Delta Queen for next stop in Chattanooga!

  • Now to Look up the Delta Queen for next stop in Chattanooga!
    Wow! I have only seen the Delta Queen or its sister ships two or three times in my life. There are magnificent to say to least.
    Now I know this river queen is in the city of Chattanooga I can stay on board and see what it would have been like to have toured the Mississippi and Ohio on these behemoths of the inland waters ways.
    The boat I saw as a kid and rode on in Cape was the Avalon I remember they had a kids cruise in the afternoon and an Adult cruise in the evenings. I rode with about 1000 others of my age up the river to Cape Rock and back or there about and back for about two hours I would guess, and had a great time. This boat stopped several times in Cape in my formative years and I got to ride on it and tour the river around Cape. Mark Twain had it right the Mississippi River is a wonderful place!

  • Hmmmm…I seem to have double posted??? it would not take the the first one said it was a dupicate…so I rewrote the first line and reposted…I come back 10 minutes late and the Both are there…Delete as you choose…weird?

  • I’m so sorry I never got to ride the Delta Queen–or even tour it. After all this water goes down, we will try to find it and do a walk-through.
    Thanks for the history, Ken. Your photo of the two black men in suspenders watching from the bank is my favorite!

    • I’vc always liked that one, too. I didn’t realize I had shot so many photos until I unearthed this negative sleeve. I’m sure there are some Delta Queen buffs out there who will appreciate the detail.

  • David Lawley

    Wonder who was on the passenger manifest? I understand there were a few celebrities that used to take the Queen. Jessica Tandy is a name that comes to mind, but I’m not sure.

  • Joe Whitright

    Can’t recall if I ever saw the Delta Queen tied up at Cape but I have seen it in Louisville Ky.
    I have always loved all the passenger, river boats ever since I used to sell Sunday papers on them when they would tie up at Cape back in the 1930’s and early 40’s
    Joe Whitright “45”

  • connie

    To Terry: My brother & I used to ride on what I think must have been th Avalon,also…I was around 9 and he about 12 or 13…we would somehow be allowed on there for the night cruises and we would jitterbug to the band. there was a calliope also…
    Ken,your post in reply to Terry’s double posts is a hoot!

  • TAK

    My wife and I stayed on the Queen in August in the Van Johnson cabin. Jessica Tandys cabin was 2 doors down. President Carter stayed in the penthouse cabin in the rear, as did some British royalty. There are little plaques all over the boat. Highly recommend you spend a night on it! Lots of wood and bygone era elegance and history.

  • Shirley (Pierce) Garrett

    As a child, my two sisters and I could hear the Delta Queen coming up the river, playing “Waiting on the Robert E. Lee”. We ran to get to the levee so we could see it go by. It was a big thrill!

  • I loved to hear the calliope playing as the Delta Queen was coming into Cape Girardeau and as it was taking off. It stopped in Cape, and one day, they let me board just to see the entrance of wonder with the beautiful staircase and magnificent entry. I remember the player of the calliope would wear a rain coat to keep from getting wet and hit the calliope with something that looked like a hammer (a big one). I go to Chatanooga every 3 months, so I am going to try to see if the Delta Queen is still there as a hotel. I would be so excited if I could just spend one night. That has always been a dream of mine. Judi

  • Mary Ann Simmons

    The Delta Queen stopped in Cairo during the 50s and into the 60’s My sister and I had a Children’s clothing store in downtown Cairo and had lots of business some just looking but we enjoyed learning where they were from and how they liked the journey. I was born in Cairo as was my sisters my husband and my children. We had a few black kids who went to our school the rest went to Sumner School. The swimming pool was built by the Cairo Rotary Club and you had to have a pass to swim there. I moved away when I was 10 and returned when my father passed away – I was 15 years old. Until Rev Cohen and some other people both black and white began marches and then the violence began. Stores were burnt and gunfire was common to hear at night. After graduating I married and by then the town was beginning to crumble People would drive to Cape Girardeau Mo rather than shop locally and stores closed one after another – some that had been in families for generations. Cairo never recovered after that but it will always be my hometown.

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